Magazine cover featuring President Macron throwing frogs out of a plane is fake

3 April 2024
What was claimed

The cover of the March 2024 edition of German satirical magazine Titanic features a cartoon of French president Emmanuel Macron throwing boxes of frogs out of a plane.

Our verdict

False. This is not a genuine Titanic front cover.

An image, seemingly of the front cover of German satirical magazine Titanic’s March issue, has been shared multiple times on Facebook

The image shows a caricature of French president Emmanuel Macron throwing frogs out of an aeroplane or helicopter. 

The headline of this apparent magazine cover says in German: “Macron schickt französische Verstärkung für ukrainische Armee”, which translates as “Macron sends French reinforcements to Ukrainian army”. 

However, this front cover was not published by the magazine. Titanic magazine’s editor-in-chief, Julia Matues, told AFP on 6 March that the front cover featuring Mr Macron is “a fake”.

The cover posted on Facebook features the Titanic magazine logo in the top left corner, with the date (“Marz 2024”) and prices visible on the top right, both where they would appear on the real magazine. But in March 2024, Titanic’s real magazine cover was a photograph of Russian president Vladimir Putin with Ukraine flags on his cheeks, and the caption “Swing State Ukraine”, asking in German “Can Putin win here?”

The fake cover shows Mr Macron, wearing military fatigues and with what appears to be a baguette across his back surrounded by frogs wearing helmets emblazoned with the French flag.

A few of the Facebook posts feature a version with labels over some of the frogs, such as “Séjourne”, “Ripert” and “Menard”. These names appear to match the surnames of various French politicians and commentators—for example, French foreign minister Stéphane Séjourné, French diplomat Jean-Maurice Ripert, and the mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard

Some of these posts were shared in early March. Reuters notes this was a few days after Mr Macron said that while there was “no consensus at this stage” among European leaders to send troops to Ukraine, “nothing should be excluded”.  

We have written before about a fake magazine cover regarding the French president shared online. False or misleading claims online have the potential to harm individuals, groups and democratic processes and institutions. Online claims can spread fast and far, and are difficult to contain and correct.

Image courtesy of gregroose.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.